Hello. Welcome to the Kickstarter campaign for Faithfully Magazine, a News and Lifestyle publication that advocates for, celebrates and informs Christian Communities of Color.
We are ethnically-inclusive and lean toward communities of color by centering the conversations, issues and events important to their faith and to their lives.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN...?
[This is the second attempt to crowdfund Faithfully Magazine's premiere print issue. See the original Kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/faithfullymag/faithfully-magazine-news-and-culture-for-christian]
My name is Nicola A. Menzie and I am the founder and editor of Faithfully Magazine (faithfullymagazine.com). I live in New York City and have been writing, blogging, tweeting (and sometimes complaining) about happenings in Evangelical Christianity for the past eight years or so (five years professionally).
I've long been a believer, but entering the world of Evangelical Christianity as a member of the press was eye-opening. I soon learned the names, the quirks and the controversies that really set people off (like Osteen and Bell, "sowing seeds" and the prosperity gospel).
More than anything, I learned that Christian news media is saturated with the perspectives, voices and concerns of White Evangelicalism. And very few of their publications and websites have Christians of Color in decision-making roles or who contribute to their editorial direction.
Faithfully Magazine is not a Christian news magazine that makes People of Color its flavor of the month or relies on "colorful" stock photos for a mirage of diversity. Instead, it is a publication committed to consistently advocating for, celebrating and informing Christians of Color. That is the only agenda. Faithfully Magazine is not liberal or conservative or Reformed or Charismatic. The publication is, in fact, ecumenical in coverage.
Faithfully Magazine is for people who aspire to do good, obey God and stay woke.
HELP US PRINT THE PREMIERE ISSUE OF FAITHFULLY MAGAZINE
Faithfully Magazine goes to press the final week of January. The goal right now is to publish the magazine as a quarterly, with this Kickstarter campaign being used to raise the necessary funds to produce the first issue.
Some stories on deck for the full-color, 60-page premiere issue include:
- Christians of Color share in their own words how they are moving forward under a Donald Trump presidency and re-considering the term "Evangelical";
- A gripping feature on a former felon who came to faith in prison and still has to answer for his alleged crimes;
- A revealing Q&A with rapper and pastor Trip Lee that includes his thoughts on the presidential election and how he cares for a faith community of both Trump and Clinton voters;
- A sit-down with the husband-and-wife leaders of Crossover Church, a popular urban ministry that's also a millennial magnet.
WHAT WE NEED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
We've got a top printer lined up that also takes care of distribution at a competitive price, so the magazine heads straight to your mailbox once it rolls off the press. We're sticking with a super conservative figure for a projection on the number of copies that will be printed but also hoping demand far exceeds our projections.
The campaign funds will be used to cover printing and distribution costs for Faithfully Magazine and reward fulfillment costs.
If the campaign's closing total far exceeds the original goal, the money will be used to pay contributors, web design and optimization and tighten production quality of Faithfully Podcast. And if we really go off the charts in exceeding the goal, a live event will be budgeted to celebrate the achievement.
SOME SWEET REWARDS
Some great rewards contributors can expect, in addition to the print issue of Faithfully Magazine include:
- Premium t-shirt with the "Do Good. Obey God. Stay Woke." motto in black only (inspired by Micah 6:8)
- "Do Good. Obey God. Stay Woke." motto sticker
- "Do Good. Obey God. Stay Woke." motto mug
- Premium t-shirt with the "Faithfully Magazine" logo in black, white and red
- "Faithfully Magazine" logo sticker
- Co-host a Faithfully Podcast episode
- Sponsorship/ad opportunities
SOME QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE
Is Faithfully Magazine anti-white? -- No, Faithfully Magazine is not anti-white. We are an ethnically-inclusive publication that leans toward Christians of Color (similar to how God leans toward the marginalized). Some of our contributing writers are white.
Is Faithfully Magazine just for Christians? -- Although Faithfully Magazine's target audience are Christian communities, we believe the publication is one that non-Christians or people of no particular faith can appreciate.
Why should I support this campaign? -- You should support this Kickstarter for Faithfully Magazine because Christian news media (and U.S. media in general) need the contributions of diverse voices and perspectives, particularly on issues that directly impact People of Color.
HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN
As someone who admires how the black press historically functioned to advocate for, celebrate and inform African Americans, I believe Faithfully Magazine can, and should, take on a similar role for Christian Communities of Color. Help make that happen by making a pledge and sharing this campaign with everyone in your online and offline communities.
If you have any questions, I'm easy to get a hold of. You can post here, shoot me an email (namenzie @ gmail.com) or connect via Twitter (@namenzie). If you happen to be in NYC, maybe we can even do coffee (or tea or ice cream).
Thank you for your time and consideration.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I was a staff reporter for The Christian Post for several years. Before that, I worked with companies like CBS News, AOL News and even Vibe.com -- where I started out about 13 years ago as an editorial intern (yes, I love hip-hop). Most recently, I've written about Christians from diverse backgrounds strategizing to address police violence and African-American responses to Donald Trump. I've also interviewed the Christian activist who rocked a major conference and the pro-life movement with her remarks on Black Lives Matter. I also study Theology and am on course to (finally!) complete my Master of Divinity degree in 2017.
Faithfully Podcast - Conversations on Race & Christianity
In October 2015, I started on the journey of developing a product that would help diversify Christian news media by centering the stories and interests of People of Color. It was my vision for Faithfully Magazine that landed me a spot at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism as a Fellow among the Spring 2016 cohort of very talented and dogged media professionals.
Faithfully Magazine went through a couple of iterations during that time, including a focus on fostering conversations about race, culture and Christianity via a podcast involving pastors, artists, academics and activists talking about everything from kinism (Christian segregation), Southern Christians and the Confederate flag, Asian Americans and yellowface, black forgiveness and the Charleston Church massacre, and more -- always from the perspective of folks directly tied to or impacted by those subjects. Faithfully Podcast has proven to be a great compliment to the mission of diversifying Christian news media and serving communities of color.
If this campaign exceeds its goal, the money raised will also be used to help refine the production quality of Faithfully Podcast.
Listen to a short clip of excerpts of several conversations from Faithfully Podcast (featuring "Black Christian Republican Rapper" Robert Donaldson; pastor Paul Kaiser; Mississippi professor Otis W. Pickett; and hip-hop artist Thi'sl).
Risks and challenges
The aim of this campaign is to provide the funds necessary to produce a fresh, bold and engaging magazine issue filled from cover to cover with excellent features, profiles and commentary that reflect and enrich the lives of its readers.
It is possible that a story might come in late or that someone's equipment could get broken, but we have backups for those potential setbacks to ensure you get your magazine issue on time.
As the Executive Editor, there are currently no other projects on my plate. I have stopped writing for other publications, except for Medium where I've been tapped for their Rising Writers Program. I am fully committed to bringing this publication to life and focused full-time on putting editorial resources in place and growing a network of reliable and talented contributors and creatives for the long haul (read: many issues to come).
Beyond potential delays mentioned above, it is quite possible that we get more content than we can handle for a single issue and have to make the very difficult decision of publishing some content exclusively online and omitting these stories from the print version of Faithfully Magazine.
Rewards are scheduled to start going out within 2-3 weeks of the campaign's end, but actual delivery times are subject to a variety of conditions sometimes beyond human control (such as the weather).
I welcome your questions, comments, suggestions and pitches.
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